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Space Science Reviews - Venus: Evolution Through Time

Space Science Reviews Topical Collection completed 

23 May 2024

The current state of Venus is the result of the cumulative effects of many processes from the planet’s formation, and its magma ocean phase up to present-day. Venus’s interior thermal evolution, volcanic, tectonic and outgassing history, as well as interaction with the atmosphere have left clues to piece back together what made Earth and Venus evolve differently. Therefore, due to its position at the inner edge of the Solar System habitable zone (HZ), Venus evolution through time provides insights on surface habitability of rocky exoplanets. 

Now is a pivotal time in Venus exploration. A new fleet of Venus missions is being developed including the radar-equipped orbiters (ESA’s EnVision and NASA’s VERITAS missions) and an entry probe (NASA’s DAVINCI). These missions will not only answer key questions about present day Venus, but also about Venus’s long-term evolution and comparative planetary science. Their current definition phase is an ideal time to collate knowledge of Venus long-term evolution scenarios and the observations needed to discriminate between them

This open-access collection, edited by Colin F. Wilson, Doris Breuer, Cédric Gillmann, Suzanne E. Smrekar, Tilman Spohn & Thomas Widemann is the direct result of the effort of 73 authors reporting on the findings, discussions, and results from the ISSI Workshop “Venus: Evolution through Time” held September 13–17, 2021. They review our knowledge of Venus based on complementary approaches, the key open scientific questions and the observations needed to address these questions – covering general & comparative planetology; initial conditions, accretion and early Venus; surface processes; interior regime throughout history, water and other volatiles, evidence for current activity; selected mission concepts and future investigations.

Please, start reading the editors' introduction: Widemann, T., Wilson, C., Breuer, D. et al. Venus: Evolution Through Time – Editorial. Space Sci Rev 220, 39 (2024).

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